There aren't that many small performance SUVs on the market. We'd like to compare the GLA 45 AMG against a cheap and cheerful Tiguan GTI or Ford Kuga ST, but there's no such thing. Instead, we have to make due with Audi's tuned box that's derived from the previous A3. It's hardly the stuff of legends, but that 2.5-liter turbo packs a punch.
Mercedes started offering AMG versions of its SUVs in 1999, but this is the first one with a four-cylinder engine. On the other hand, the GLA looks more like a tall hatchback, and in 45 AMG form, it sits even lower to the ground.
The Benz's roofline peaks at 1.49 meters, 8.6cm lower than that of the RS Q3. There’s just 7mm splitting their lengths, and it's mostly due to the big chin spoiler of the GLA. Let's take a look under the hood as well. With the Audi, it's a five-cylinder engine that now produces 250 kW (340 hp) and 450 Nm (331.9 lb-ft) of torque. As a result of this boost in output, 0 to 100 km/h takes only 4.8 seconds, the exact same time as the GLA 45 AMG.
Of course, there's now a 381 PS version of the hot GLA on the market against which the RS Q3 doesn't stand a chance.
Everything we've read so far suggests the GLA 45 AMG is also superior when it encounters some curves, as its weight transitions better and the chassis comes alive. So the only really good thing about the RS Q3 is the engine, and that's not really enough to sell a car.